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Comic Review: Indestructible Hulk #1

Indestructible Hulk #1 Marvel NOW Mark Waid Leinil Yu Comic Cover

Bruce Banner has come to a revelation in Indestructible Hulk #1: like cancer or MS, there are some things you just have to accept as a reality and learn to live with. Luckily for S.H.I.E.L.D. (and for Hulk fans), Bruce’s self-acceptance gives us a scientist with a sense of humour about himself, and a Hulk with some well-channeled anger therapy sessions.

Mark Waid serves notice early in this issue that Indestructible Hulk is not going to be a self-pity party. He’s brought Bruce Banner and the Hulk down to their essential elements – smartest man on earth and angriest monster on earth – and he’s going to allow them to simply be what they are. Bruce is tired of being the third most useful smart guy in the Marvel Universe, behind Tony Stark and Reed Richards, so he’s looking to make his mark during “Banner Time.” He also accepts that the Hulk has no trouble leaving his mark, and so he’s found a way to direct his unstoppable alter ego. He knows he can’t cure or control the Hulk, so he’s offered him up as a pitbull for the good guys. Thus, Indestructible Hulk: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

If you’re new to the comic version Hulk (as I am), this is a great read. It’s a nice, tight, self-contained story with down-to-earth storytelling, good ol’ fashioned Hulk-smashing and great humour throughout. It’s particularly enjoyable to watch Bruce Banner try to talk to S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Maria Hill in a crowded diner full of klutzy patrons.

Artist Leinil Yu does a good job with the packed diner scene, but Hulk’s equally-packed action sequences get a bit dodgy. Still, it’s not enough to detract from an excellent first outing for Indestructible Hulk.

I was long a critic of the Hulk as a character; to me, he is a wrecking ball that, more often than not, gets pointed in the right direction, but nearly as often goes after his would-be allies. I thought that made it hard to call him a hero. Marvel’s The Avengers movie won me over, and this comic gets it, too: Bruce Banner is the hero for leashing and unleashing his gamma-fuelled alter ego.

This comic is a great take on the character for any hardcore Hulk fan, and a perfect jumping-on point for newcomers still green behind the ears.

8 out of 10.

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